If you’ve played or coached, you’ve seen it. The player who won’t listen to the coach. He doesn’t think the coach knows what he’s talking about, or that his play doesn’t need to improve at all. It seems there is nothing the coach can do to get through to him.
He tries punishments like extra running or reduced playing time. But, for this player, nothing really seems to work. He’s chosen to go his own way and it seems to be working–he’s still successful on the field. For now.
Eventually, though, he starts making errors, striking out, giving up home runs, making stupid decisions. He looks at his coach for direction, only to hear “I told you so.”
For this player, the only punishment that is good enough is when he sees his own failure. He reaps what he has sown.
Ultimately, failure is its own greatest punishment.
Proverbs 1:30-31– “So they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be satiated with their own devices. For the waywardness of the naive shall kill them, and the complacency of fools shall destroy them.” (NASB).
Wisdom is pictured giving a speech in this proverb, a speech of “I told you so.” The audience had previously refused to listen, refused to be coached in the game of life, refused to yield to the direction and will of God. Choosing his own way was more appealing than the path God wanted. In the end, choosing his own path destroyed him.
The destruction wasn’t even a punishment from God. It was simply the natural outcome of running away from God’s direction. God didn’t have to “punish” him. Failure was its own greatest punishment. He faced “calamity…dread…distress…anguish.” Ultimately, he faced the fact that he was on his own, apart from God, just like he wanted.
God is not out to get us, but I wonder how often he says to us, “I told you so.” In many ways, sin is its own punishment. It will either separate us from God for all eternity or it will cause interruptions in our relationship with him. Either one is dreadful and not what God wants for you.
What’s the greatest “I told you so” lesson you’ve learned from God or from a wise mentor? Post a comment through the blog, Twitter, or Facebook.